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In re Ackerman

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 31, 2018

In re Cheryl Ackerman Debtor.
David Wolff, Esq. Defendant. Cheryl Ackerman, Plaintiff,



         This matter comes before the Court on the pro se Appellant Cheryl Ackerman's appeal (ECF no. 1) from an Order by Judge Rosemary Gambardella of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, dated March 9, 2018.[1]Although the Appellant is surely aggrieved and deeply affected by the bankruptcy, she has no proffered any viable legal grounds for overturning the bankruptcy court's orders.

         After holding a hearing on its own Order to Show Cause, the Bankruptcy Court issued the March 9, 2018 Order, which reads as follows:

1. The respective Debtor motions (including motions to convert the case to Chapter 13, for reconsideration of prior motions, to reimpose automatic stay, etc.) found at Docket Nos. 120, 127, 134 and 137 are all denied.
2. The Debtor shall only be allowed to file a motion in the future for relief previously sought and denied, only if all of the following conditions are met via the filing of a supporting Certification, signed under penalty of perjury, that evidences the following:
a) any claims the Debtor wishes to present are new claims never before raised and disposed of on the merits;
b) the Debtor believes the facts alleged to be true, which facts must be supported by documentary proof; and
c) the Debtor knows of no reason to believe her claims are foreclosed by controlling law.
3. If all conditions set forth in paragraph 2 above are met, the Court will subsequently schedule a return date for said motion.

         The Order also included handwritten text stating: "THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH HEREIN SHALL APPLY TO ALL MOTIONS FILED ON OR AFTER FEBRUARY 14, 2018.[2] (ECF no. 1-1).

         The Appellant initiated appeal by filing a Notice of Appeal from Bankruptcy Court on April 19, 20182 (ECF no. 1), with attached Exhibit (ECF no. 1-1).

         Four days later, on April 23, 2018, Appellant filed an "Emergency Motion to Stay the Bankruptcy Court" proceedings. (ECF no. 2). In the Motion, Appellant appeared to 1) request a Stay of the Bankruptcy Court proceedings due to her health issues, 2) object to Mr. Wolffs Motion to sell Appellant's property free and clear of liens under Section 363(f), [3] and 3) object to the Bankruptcy Court's denial of Appellant's Motion to Convert a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.[4] (Id.) Attached to the Motion was a copy of Section 706 of the Bankruptcy Code, which addresses conversion of Bankruptcy cases. (Id.)

         On April 30, 2018, Appellant filed a letter reiterating her request for an emergency stay, and asking this Court to grant the stay before May 8, 2018.[5](ECF no. 3 at 1). Appellant stated that she was "unable to move" and was requesting a stay because of a "recent myocardial infarction. Cardiac surgery. Fractured toe. Metarsal. With daily chest pain." (Id.) The letter also included isolated references to Appellant's motion to convert to a Chapter 13 case and Mr. Wolff. (Id. at 2). Attached to the letter was a copy of Section 706 of the Bankruptcy Code, and a copy of what appeared to be Appellant's March 2, 2018 electrocardiogram results. (Id. at 3-4).

         On May 3, 2018, I issued a Memorandum and Order denying Appellant's Emergency Motion for Stay of Bankruptcy No. 17-17032. (ECF no. 4). On that same day, Appellant filed a Motion to appoint pro bono counsel, (ECF no. 5), and a Motion for an Order to Show Cause, which includes the same contentions as Appellant's April 30, 2018 submissions, (ECF no. 6).

         The next day, on May 4, 2018, Appellant filed a handwritten letter described as an "urgent motion to show cause for stay in bankruptcy court." (ECF no. 7 at l).[6] In the letter, she reiterated her request for an emergency stay to be granted by this Court before May 8, 2018. (Id. at 1). The letter states that the report of a surgeon and/or cardiologist's report is provided. (Id. at 1-2). No. report was included in this filing.[7]

         Three days later, on May 7, 2018, Appellant filed a five-page Supplement to her Motion to Stay, requesting an Order to Show Cause. (ECF no. 8).

         The next day, on May 8, 2018, the Bankruptcy Court held its scheduled hearing on Mr. Wolffs Motion to sell Appellant's property, and issued an Order authorizing Mr. Wolff to sell the property for the sum of $1, 025, 000 (after the allowance of $25, 000 in inspection item repair credits) to the Buyers ("Sale Order"). (Bankruptcy ECF no. 170). Under the terms of the Order, Appellant must remove all of her personal property and vacate the property on or before June 4, 2018. (Id. at 5). Accordingly, I deemed Appellant's hearing-related requests in ECF nos. 6-8 moot. See (ECF no. 11 at 4).

         After the May 8th hearing, Appellant filed two additional documents under this docket. (ECF nos. 9 and 10). The first filing was made on May 15, 2018 and includes an eleven-page submission, (ECF no. 9), and the second filing was an "Emergency Motion to Stay the Bankruptcy Court" filed on May 16, 2018 (ECF no. 10).

         Since that hearing, in addition to making the above-described filings in this Court under this docket, Appellant had also filed other submissions in the Bankruptcy Court. In that Court, on the same day that the Sale Order was issued, Appellant filed a letter requesting a tape recording from proceedings held on August 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM.[8] (Bankruptcy ECF no. 171). She also requested a waiver of the cost of the tape. (Id.) Two days later, on May 10, 2018, she filed a Notice of Appeal to District Court regarding the Sale Order[9] (Bankruptcy ECF no. 173), and a Motion for a Stay in Bankruptcy Court pending the District Court's decision on that appeal, (Bankruptcy ECF no. 177).

         On May 17, 2018, I issued a Memorandum and Order denying Appellant's motions (ECF nos. 6, 10) for a stay of Bankruptcy No. 17-17032. (ECF no. 11).

         On the next day, May 18, 2018, Appellant filed three motions in this Court: two Motions to appoint pro bono counsel[10] (ECF nos. 12 and 14), and a Motion for a "new hearing, "[11] (ECF no. 13). She also filed a letter in Bankruptcy Court. (Bankruptcy ECF no. 181). The handwritten letter is, for the most part, indecipherable. (Id.) As of today's date, the Bankruptcy Court has not addressed that letter.

         Regarding Appellant's filing for a Motion for a new hearing, that filing includes the following six documents:[12] 1) a typed and handwritten Notice of Motion, 2) a typed and handwritten three-page letter in support of her motion, 3) a copy of what appears to be Appellant's February 26, 2018 electrocardiogram results (also commonly referred to as an "ECG" or "EKG") from Clara Maas Medical Center, [13] 4) an undated "To Whom it May Concern" typed letter from an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center's ...

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